Allotment holder left quaking after eviction over 'personal vendetta'

Allotment holder is left ‘quaking’ with fear after committee strips her plot of plants and kicks her out as long-running ‘personal vendetta’ explodes

  • Nicki Dixon says she was trembling during a confrontation at Mirfield Allotments
  • Ms Dixon says allotment society pursued ‘vendetta’ against her for several years
  • Society evicted Ms Dixon and removed hundreds of plant pots as well as tools 

A community activist was left shocked and angry to see her beloved allotment being stripped of her plants and possessions following a long-running row with the society that runs it.

Nicki Dixon, an allotment holder for five years, says hundreds of plant pots along with tools and some chilli plants were removed from her allotment at Lowlands in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, on Saturday.

A handmade sign was placed on her greenhouse which warns: ‘Mirfield Allotments and Gardens Society is now in possession and occupation of this plot.

‘Any person who enters this plot will be treated as a trespasser.’

Nicki claims that an official then told her: ‘This plot will be re-let tomorrow, so I don’t want you coming in here. It’s not your plot, you’re being evicted, end of story.

Nicki, 56, a former chairman of Mirfield Allotments and Gardens Society (MAGS), which manages three allotment sites in Mirfield, claims this ‘eviction’ followed the termination earlier this year of her membership of MAGS.

Pictured: Nicki Dixon, an allotment holder was left quaking to see her beloved plot being stripped of plants and possessions following a long-running row with the society that runs it

She did not accept this decision and continued visiting the allotments.

Nicki said what happened on Saturday left her ‘quaking’ and feeling helpless.

‘There were five men and two women present. I was quaking. My knees were knocking out of helplessness.’

Nicki, who lives in Mirfield and is an active member of Mirfield in Bloom and is Horticulture Secretary for Mirfield Show, says the events on Saturday came after several years of ‘unpleasantness’.

In one committee meeting, when she was chair, she claims she was sworn at and called a ‘****ing disgrace’ by a former committee member who wasn’t happy with her leadership of MAGS.

Nicki’s partner, who was present, said at the time: ‘It was like being at a football match.’

Pictured: The note left behind on Nicki’s plot by the Mirfield Allotments and Gardens Society

She said she had been the subject of what felt like a ‘personal vendetta’ which had begun when she had previously been supportive of a female allotment holder facing eviction in 2018.

The long-running saga apparently escalated when she suggested the committee were behaving like ‘bullies’ over the way some had spoken about her.

Nicki says she later apologised for these comments but says this wasn’t accepted. She says the committee did not have the right to evict her as she had paid her rent and kept the plot tidy.

‘I have been treated differently as a woman who dares to criticise, and I have been humiliated by being referred to in the minutes with no right of reply.’

She added: ‘This is a personal vendetta against me because I have spoken out, as a woman, and criticised the committee; men who have spoken out and been critical of the committee have not been treated the way I have.’

Nicki added: ‘I have been thrown off my plot simply for criticising people following their criticism of me.

Nicki says she has been thrown off her plot as a result of a personal vendetta which escalated

‘I have been offered no right of appeal…’

Nicki says the letters from MAGS stopped coming but by August said: ‘the committee resumed their campaign against me and sent me a letter stating my plot was to be let to someone else.’

In a letter to Nicki in January, MAGS secretary David Thompson explained that her private membership had been terminated after she had been ‘highly and unfairly critical of the committee and named members of the committee making your private membership untenable.’

The letter warned her about ‘trespassing’ and said ‘we are now refusing you admission to any of the three allotment sites.’

One senior member of the committee declined to comment.

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